Tick Borne Diseases – It’s Time to Get Serious!

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Tick borne diseases can be a major problems for us and our dogs in certain areas of the country.

Several years ago, one of our Great Pyrenees mamas got sick. Dolly started slowing down. In a matter of days, she was nearly unable to move. I knew there was something wrong when I said “come” and she didn’t even look. Now, I understand that Great Pyrenees are known for being stubborn but they are not known for being stupid. They are among the smartest breeds which makes them a perfect guardian.

I called my veterinarian and said I needed something done fast. I carried Dolly into my car and then into the clinic.  A blood test was completed on something that looked like a home pregnancy test stick. Three tick-borne diseases were identified within 15 minutes. The veterinarian said that this is more common than people know and would put her at risk for arthritis down the road. Dolly was started on a 21-day course of Doxycycline. Within three days she was back to normal.

Around that time I repeated this drill with two of my sons to the emergency room. My younger son Josiah became unable to bear weight on his left leg due to swelling in the knee. He was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease and was back to normal in three days after starting a 21-day course of Doxycycline.

I did my research and talked to a few professionals. I settled on purchasing a liquid product called Talstar P that is mixed in a tank sprayer and applied to the yard. You wear a respirator mask and remove all critters or people that you don’t want inhaling the poison. Talstar P worked so wonderfully that every insect died on our property…even the bees. OK, maybe that was an exaggeration as it wasn’t like the “silent spring” but my wife wasn’t happy. Ever seen a #110 angry Swede? Her tree frog pet that joined her on the kitchen window each night suddenly went on a diet and eventually disappeared. I was informed that spraying every area of the lawn was no longer an option. Every now and again I let her believe she gets to call the shots. I did have a brief moment of redemption when my sister in law came to visit in July. She is allergic to mosquitoes. She had only one mosquito bite while she was here. That is miraculous. But, it swelled to the size of a golf ball and required a medication that kept her quite drowsy and in bed.

Up North Pyrenees dogs receive a yearly vaccination for Lyme’s disease and are on oral Bravecto or topical Frontline Plus. This protects them from the ocean of ticks around us. What about my family? What about the mosquitoes and flies that pester all of us and transmit diseases?

Last year was especially dry and insect free. It was the closest thing to heaven that I can imagine. This year is the exact opposite. My t-shirt looked furry from mosquitoes several days ago while working on fencing. However, I have abandoned the scorched earth policy and I am waiting until the fruit trees are done blooming. I will wage war on the insects afterward. I will avoid Amber’s flowers in front of the kitchen window. I am living in the reality of bugs problems and the benefit they provided. But, their time is coming to an end as everyone in our area is noting an uptick in the tick and mosquito population. I understand there may be side-effects for this chemical yet to be seen.

Many of you may be gasping and hoping this story will have a non-chemical twist. Some of you may fear the future consequences of such a dangerous chemical. I am already considering that two of my sons may be at a higher risk of arthritis as well as unknown long-term issues from the ticks. I want my relatives to come visit us in the woods. I want my lawn back or else I’m moving to Arizona. Long live Talstar P!

Click here to see available Great Pyrenees puppies and please share us with a friend.

Addendum: We now have five guinea hens as of July 20th and they are loving our yard.

Getting Your House in Order

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Getting Your House in Order

There is nothing more exciting than a new life. Babies are one of the best of all God’s gifts to us. Puppies are awfully exciting too. But, getting your house in order is important.

With every gift comes the responsibility to care for it well. A blessing can seem to turn into a curse when not properly tended. A child that is never disciplined will end up disrespectful towards authority which will end him up in prison or worse.  Most of the time you reap what you sow.

An untrained puppy that grows to #100 will be bound for the humane society. He will become someone else’s problem as they work for years to correct mistakes that could have easily been addressed earlier.

Make sure a puppy will be a good fit for your family. Can you afford it? Most disputes in marriage are over money problems. Is your spouse or family on board? I don’t recommend getting a puppy if your family isn’t in full agreement. Maybe spend the money on a Weekend to Remember or a family trip to the Grand Canyon. We live in a consumer economy where just about anything can be purchased on the internet and delivered to your home. Even Up North Pyrenees will deliver your puppy to you!!! Avoid purchases that are a spur of the moment decision and make sure you look at the big financial picture and commitment in the years to follow.

Read a good puppy training book if you still plan on getting a puppy. We recommend The Art of Training a Puppy. Train the trainer. You will be telling your friends about your amazing dog if you become an amazing trainer.

Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God all these things will be added unto you.”  Jesus knows we have desires and needs.  You usually get the things you want when you put His desires first.  Prioritization has of way of putting first things first. When your house is in order life is better.  Enjoy your summer and put relationships first. Contact us when you are ready to bring a puppy into that kind of family.

Fasting To Make Your Dog Healthier


Fasting to make your dog healthier might sound ridiculous to you. But, obesity is a major problem in the United States and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. This is true in people and I suspect it is the same with their pets. Seven states now have obesity rates that exceed 35% with the highest state being West Virginia at 38.1% and the lowest being Colorado at 22.6%.1 Think about that for a minute. The best state in the country has 1 in 5 people that are over-weight. This leads to multiple health system issues including diabetes and joint degeneration.

Why are we talking about this? People tend to feed their dogs as they feed themselves. Too much of the wrong thing. I work in health care and am pleased to see when people lose weight/fat. Usually, this coincides with a reduction in medications because multiple systems improve. They also feel better and then move on to exercise which really helps them to engage life more fully. Exercise is highly associated with an ability to have improved cognition.2 Does anyone need to think a little bit better?

Our family was walking on our rural County Road 2 near Lake of the Woods last fall. Like a proud strutting peacock, a large gray timber wolf stepped out of the woods and onto the highway just 150 yards in front of us. I caught a glimpse of his tall slim frame. It looked like every other wolf, coyote, and fox that I’ve ever seen in the wild. Skinny.

This brings me to my main point. Canines often miss meals. Missing a meal can be a healthy thing as it triggers tapping into fat stores and forces the body into autophagy. This literally means self-eating and a Nobel Prize was awarded for research in this area of study revealing how it super-charges the body’s ability to heal when it is forced to go “clean out the cupboards” so to speak.3

Up North Pyrenees has implemented a feeding schedule where we fast our adult dogs one day per week. I have incorporated this into my normal Monday routine and it makes me feel so much better. My mind is sharper which is a good thing because using my mind is what I use primarily in my day job.

How often should skipping a meal happen? I don’t think anyone has the perfect answer. But, starting with one day a month without a meal is a good start and a long-term manageable practice that could be implemented by owners and their pets alike. Interestingly, the body can go 2-3 days before tapping into the muscle for protein and is a technique bodybuilders have used for decades.4 The best part is that you same money now and later. Does fasting to make your dog healthier sound ridiculous to you? Hopefully, that’s something you can live with.

Are you looking to add a Great Pyrenees puppy to your family? Click here to see available puppies and please share us with a friend.


  1. Adult Obesity in the United States. The State of Obesity. https://www.stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/. Published 2019. Accessed May 2, 2019.
  2. Publishing H. Exercise can boost your memory and thinking skills – Harvard Health. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-can-boost-your-memory-and-thinking-skills. Published 2019. Accessed May 3, 2019.
  3. Levine B, Klionsky D. Autophagy wins the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Breakthroughs in baker’s yeast fuel advances in biomedical research. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2016;114(2):201-205. doi:10.1073/pnas.1619876114
  4. How Long Can I Fast Before I Start Losing Muscle? | Livestrong.com. LIVESTRONG.COM. https://www.livestrong.com/article/437499-how-long-can-i-fast-before-i-start-losing-muscle/. Published 2019. Accessed May 3, 2019.

Preparing For Your New Arrival

Great Pyrenees Puppies | Up North Pyrenees

sleeping puppyPreparing For Your New Arrival

So, you’re getting a puppy. You have no clue what to do and have nobody to ask. I don’t want to pretend to be the authority of smooth transitions or puppy training in general. But, here are a few helpful tips I’ve seen to be helpful in managing a giant breed dog. Early investments pay huge dividends with your puppy. Hopefully this will help you in preparing for your new arrival of an Up North Pyrenees puppy.

  1. Buy the largest wire crate you can find. Cover it with a cute blanket. Do not let them sleep in your bed initially. Place a very heavy blanket that will resist being pawed around. This will cushion your dog’s body to reduce stress on joints. It will also provide warmth if you keep them in a cooler place.
  2. Start crate training immediately. This will solve a number of problems that are initially encountered. Later on, you can let them do whatever they want, but they will usually prefer their kennel.
  3. Potty train starting day 1. Bring them out to the very spot you want them to relieve themselves and say “go potty” before you go to sleep. Then bring them to the kennel and say “kennel”.  Give them a little treat as a reward. Tossing the treat into the back of the kennel will stimulate instant obedience! Later on, reward them only after they obey the command. When you wake up in the morning you must lead or carry them outside to the very spot you want them to relieve themselves. Set them down and then say “go potty”. It is important to realize that in the first month their bladder is going to want to go potty more than yours.
  4. Don’t scold for accidents! Clean up puppy doo and pee immediately after bringing them to their puppy poo place outside. Any poo or pee that remains will teach them that it is ok. They want to be clean just like you but haven’t learned it or couldn’t hold it.
  5. Cradle time your puppy. Teaching dominance in a gentle way is important to establish your relationship on the proper foundation. Spend some time each day cradling your puppy like a baby. It is preferable to put them on their back as this is a submission posture with canines. However, simply holding them on your lap is acceptable. Have each person in your family do this at least 15 minutes daily. This will establish a lifelong bond.
  6. Never dominate with aggression and anger. A puppy wants to naturally submit and will do so if you are consistent and firm. This makes them feel safe and happy. Many puppies are permanently wrecked because an owner mistakenly thought he needed to be like a wolf alpha. Several years ago I came across an area on Lake of the Woods where a wolf pack fought to the death. There was an area 100 yards wide covered in dog fur. Maybe this was a pack that dismantled a domestic dog piece by piece. It is more likely that there was a battle for dominance with a big loser. The Bible says that “Love covers a multitude of sins” and conventional knowledge is that “dog is man’s best friend”. If you follow this advice then neither you nor your puppy will be a loser down the road. There will be ample grace that your dog will extend even to the guests you have in your home! People will say that you have the nicest dog. But in reality, your dog has the nicest owner!
  7. Be a lifelong student. Relationships are hard but they are worth it. Relationships are the most valuable thing that we have. Be better each day for your puppy and your family. Read, observe, learn, and change. Enjoy your big baby!

Please share us with a friend and click here to see available Up North Pyrenees puppies.

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